The Archdiocese of Newark and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin have issued new directives for funerals, weddings and baptisms and they’re the most stringent in the country. In a news release Wednesday, March 25, the archbishop and the archdiocese’s Coronavirus Task Force issued a reminder of prior directives still in effect as well, while essentially stopping all sacraments and funeral liturgies.
As of March 25, 2020:
- Wakes and funerals must be postponed until further notice. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group. Burials may take place with only the priest (and one family member.)
- All baptisms must be postponed until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency.
- All weddings are postponed until further notice.
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation is suspended until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency.
- All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until further notice. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until further notice.
- Parish offices must be closed until further notice. Employees who provide essential services should be limited and on staggered schedules.
- Pastors should see that the Blessed Sacrament is renewed in tabernacles regularly from celebrations of private Masses.
The following directives REMAIN IN FORCE since March 18, 2020:
- All public celebrations of daily and Sunday Mass suspended until further notice.
- All public celebrations of the sacraments and other public forms of worship suspended until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, previously scheduled confirmations, celebrations of first Communion, penitential services, Communion services and Liturgies of the Word.
- Anointing of the Sick: A priest may use a cotton-tipped swab or cotton ball as an instrument to anoint the sick person.
- Holy water should be removed from all fonts.
- Celebrations of Mass should continue via live-streaming.
- The Archdiocesan Center remains closed with limited and staggering of hours.
- Catholic Schools remain closed as directed by the State of New Jersey.
- All Archdiocese of Newark Catechetical education and events sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) are suspended.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.